Tuesday, January 10, 2006

a day at the dental spa...

So here it is. I have been sketchy at best for the last few weeks, particularly at reading blogs and writing in this one. As I read them I am seeing a trend, a theme perhaps...The resolutions, goals, or even reviews of the past year.

I am almost two weeks into 2006 and my house is still filled to the brim with Christmas. I have managed to take down the Christmas stockings and pack up my nested boxes, but that's as far as it went. The Bishop came over to my house the other night (to discuss all the mess in our ward and also the deaths, etc.) and as he was leaving pulled me aside and complemented me on the decorations at the church, mainly the tree in the foyer. I had to correct him, telling him that because of the other conflicts I had to delegate that usual assignment to Sister F., who did indeed do a fine job. He looked me straight in the eye and said, I noticed the difference in the style, I was eluding to the fact that you need to take it down or make that assignment also. Ugh.

Along side of the ill cleaning and packing, I have had a few surprises that have taken my attention and time away, and some appointments that I knew about that did the same. I will be lucky if I get that tree and other decorations put away by next Sunday, but it will get done - somehow.

One appointment that I had this week was yesterday, and it was one I have looked forward to for quite some time. I got to be my daughter's patient. Thor and I went down to her school and checked in to see her and after a few minutes she came out in her lab coat and scrubs and asked for Thor. She looked so cute, um, professional. It was soon my turn and she did a great job. She had to do all the regular prep/assessments that dental hygienist's do.

After the exam #3 pronounced, "Mom! You have a very nice mouth!" (I was pleased) and then she quickly giggled and said, "I bet you don't hear that everyday!" ( I am sure she meant it as -"that's a weird compliment" - but I know there is a "My mom has a potty mouth" slam in there somewhere) I was both pleased and shamed! She later said she didn't remember saying that, but she was laughing pretty hard when I was retelling the story to Thor. hmmmm.

Evidently I also take pain better than Thor in her eyes as she gave me the harder assignment of getting "x-rays no modern dental office would ever use, but we have to learn how to take them anyway." I guess modern technology has eliminated this particular procedure and the pain that goes with it. However, as she was pulling the rather large plastic covered film from my mouth I sprayed her like an anemone being poked on a sunny day. "Wow Mom! You have a great 'whatever the anatomically correct name is for that squishy thing under your tongue that squirts when you open your mouth too wide- I mean really- WOW!" (I hate it that my kids know the name of that thing and I don't and that the squirty action has a name as well - gleek or something like that. e-gads I'm dumb!)

One problem, I have very low blood pressure. In the doctor's offices I have been to all my life no one has ever gotten a good reading on it the first time out. Never once has an automated machine been able to get it. So, for s'mee, it always goes like this:

S'mee: I have low BP, so you may need to take it manually.
Nurse: This will get it, don't worry.
Machine then pumps the living day-lights out of my ample arm while pinching my delicate and oh so sensitive skin. Eventually it begins to slowly release air and tries to make a reading. This is repeated at least twice, but more than likely three times before the nurse finally realizes "This stupid machine isn't working today!" Frustrated she grabs the manual cuff and again, pumps it up so high and so hard I wince which is always followed by a "UM, yeah right! NO one your size can have low blood pressure and so I HAVE to pump it up into atmosphere so I can get it to read your HIGH BP numbers" face.
Nurse: I don't know why this isn't working either. Let's try it like this.
S'mee: If you put the cuff here (adjusting) and the stethoscope here (adjusting) ... pump it about half as much as you do. You can look at the meter and it will begin to twitch slightly and then stop and I will signal you when I feel it begin and end.
Nurse glaring and re-adjusting back to her postitioning: This is the correct position and REALLY, I know what I am doing.
Now we go through her way at least once more and frustrated she goes to the chart and tries to find out what my BP has been in the past. As she walks to the chart I say: it's usually right around 75 over 50, or 80 over 55 if I am stressed. I have some days when it is 70 over 40..." When the nurse will always remark, "You'd be in serious trouble if.... oh, um...(reading reading)..Let's try this one more time.
Finally they get a reading and yes it is usually about 75 over 50.

Yesterday my daughter had the opportunity to try and find the BP. She actually listened to what I said, placed the instruments where I said they would be more successful, and tried. She tried twice and then said. "You DO have a low pressure mom, I can't hear it at all. So I am going to let the nurse on duty give it a try. I can see it wiggle, but I am not sure I would be too accurate." The nurse comes over and she explains that I have very low BP -especially for someone my size- and that she needs more information on how to hear it. The nurse tries and she looks and me and says: "You have very low pressure, you sure you're alive? haha! Well, I am going to try and grab the doc, she'll find it." The doctor comes over and she tries -twice- before she gets a reading and asks, "Are you one medication?" "No, nothing but a vitamin and I just started those yesterday." "Wow, you've got low pressure!" At that point my daughter replies, "She's very relaxed."

All in all the reading was 78 over 58 and I guess the pulse reading was also very low. Yeah, I'm relaxed. Being in a dental chair was the most relaxing part of all last week. How many of us can ever say that?

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

Only you could make that experience fun! Oh and yes, I agree you are very relaxed. When was the last time you were ironed????? Just kidding!

So maybe the answer is doing some jumping jacks just before heading into the office.

That stupid cuff thing! They always say, your pressure's a little elevated. say 135 over 75, and then my comment is that if you didn't pump that thing up so much until it inched me in pain it would prbably be normal. But I'm funny, my blood pressure always goes up when enduring infliction of pain. funny me!

s'mee said...

Well according to Thor. *any* trip to our lovely doctor's facility is stress. Driving down the hill for an hour, fighting traffic, finding a parking space, the hike into the building, waiting in the check in line, PAYING the heretofore non-existent co-pay, finding which floor the doctor is on, and racing around the block to get there. By the time one arrives in the actual office ANYONEs BP should be significantly higher than "normal", plus -as you mention- the cuff that is pumped up SO tightly it makes you wince and yelp in pain, yes I should have at least a normal reading, but alas no... i.e. I *AM* dead! (which explains why I am always cold, again not normal for a woman who is gravitationally gifted)

David B. said...

My wife and I (who is an RN) had a good laugh together as I read your low blood pressure story to her!

Also, it must be really satisfying to see your children grow up and begin careers of their own. Good for #3.

s'mee said...

Thanks David! Our dear ol' ma was an RN while we were growing up. We used to play "hospital" and take each others BP for fun at home with the real instruments, back then it wasn't that hard to do! haha

It is pretty fun to be at this age when the kids are all beginning and the grandkids are starting to come, and frankly, hor and I are just happy happy happy most of the time! (it's good to get old!)